Imagine a World: Resurrection
Rev. Jason Butterick shares the lesson of Jesus' resurrection held in faith by believers. Death may not be a preferred method of departure, but it is not an unknown route to God. We experience life coming from death in many ways, although we probably do not recognize its occurence or as entailing much loss. We lose our childhood to adulthood, our adulthood to old age. God's method of renewal is more than resuscitation, more than a return to former ways and means. The power of resurrection gives us eyes of faith that will behold Jesus with eyes of sight, love already present while we do not see, and salvation already here but not yet fully arrived! Death is required for resurrection to happen. Even if it seems to be an ending, it is also a beginning!
Imagine A World: Beauty
Rev. Jason Butterick shares how beauty captivates and draws us into a relationship with God and creation. Our planet, its landscapes, animals, processes, and systems are a wonder. Wobbling around a yellow dwarf star, not too hot, not too cold, not too far, not too close. Cycles of life, from the smallest cell to the largest living creature, open and close with new and old, life and death. From death springs life, and the cycle winds its way through until death once again gives to life. Sometimes we struggle with finding something beautiful in times of suffering, despair, or loss. The heavens may tell us of God's glory, but it is also warning us of dire consequences if we do not try to keep it healthy, sustainable, and life-giving. We have given considerable attention to our climate response, updating our systems and even installing a solar power generation plant on our roof to reduce our energy dependence on other sources.
Imagine a World: Justice
Rev. Jason Butterick looks at what is required for genuine and authentic worship of God: justice. Kindhearted justice must be the fruit of worship that considers the last, the lost, and the least deserving of our attention and affection. We often limit justice to crisis response, food pantries for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, etc. Our worship should not be about getting God's favor or attention, but rather shifting our focus to who always has God's favor and attention: those without in the day-to-day. When our worship shifts to justice, God hears and sees. More justice shows proper worship. When we love neighbors as much as we declare our love for God, and demonstrate it through compassionate relief of injustice, bondage, and oppression, then our worship is proper and acceptable.
Imagine A World: More Hope
Rev. Jason Butterick shares lessons on hope from the book of Hebrews. Hope requires a form of trust, a given promise, and an imagining of what is possible even without visual evidence. The world does not usually operate with much hope, as it is often disappointed or misled to trust and believe in something or someone. But what if we could hold our faith towards our hope in Christ, to use it to provoke and encourage love and good works both among us and towards others? What do we have hope in? How is it evident? How is it fulfilled? Hope requires commitment, time, talent, and work. What if we held hope in confidence that it will come to pass?
Imagine a World; Community
Rev. Jason Butterick reveals the hallmarks of the church: learning, loving, and service. These practices happen best within a community that is learning, loving, and serving one another and its community. When does the community of faith fall apart? When it is not learning, loving, or serving. The community suffers when some refuse to learn, love, or serve within it. Imagine what could happen if this alternative community of fellowship could counter the hyper-individualistic world we live in.